In a case of cyber fraud, a nationalised bank was recently duped of Rs 9.94 lakh after a man, impersonating over phone as the director of a private company that has an account with the bank, tricked its employees into transferring the amount into his account by sending an official request using a fake email id, which looked similar to the company’s original email id. Experts said the modus operandi is termed as e-mail spoofing, a type of cyber attack as part of which a fraudster sends an e-mail request to their target with an ID that resembles that of an entity known to them.
An FIR in the latest case was lodged following a complaint made by a 57-year-old bank official at the Deccan police station in Pune city on Wednesday. The official told police that on July 2, he received a call on his mobile phone from someone who said he was one of the directors of a private company that has an account with the bank. “The bank has not been able to recover the money. We have registered the FIR and a probe is on to trace the accused. We are also tracking the beneficiary bank account (for a possible lead),” said Muralidhar Karape, senior inspector of Deccan police station.
According to the complaint, the fraudster had told the official that he was unable to get a new chequebook from the bank due to lockdown restrictions and had to make an urgent RTGS transaction. The bank official was on leave at that time and passed on the mobile number of another official to the caller, police said.
The second bank official then asked the caller to send an official e-mail to the bank from his company’s ID, police said. Soon after, the accused sent an e-mail to the bank from an ID which resembled that of the official mailing address of the company, they added.
Since the bank official could not spot a difference, Rs 9.94 lakh was transferred to the account number provided in the e-mail sent by the fraudster, police said. Two days later, on July 4, the bank received a phone call from the private company informing the officials that the phone of one of their director’s had been hacked and that they never made any request for transactions, they added.
The officials of the bank then checked the e-mail ID from which they had received the payment request and found out that it was a fake one following which they approached the Deccan police.
A similar incident took place at a government bank in Panvel city earlier this month when a cyber fraudster impersonated a customer on phone and tricked a government bank’s manager into sending Rs 33.29 lakh to him. However, in this case, the bank’s money has been recovered.